When I first heard we were going to interview Ruth Bobo for a story in today’s edition about efforts to raise money for her healthcare costs, I jumped at the chance to see her again.
During my illustrious career at Claremont High School from 1970 to 1974, I was a student of Mrs. Bobo’s on 2 separate occasions. I vividly remember my senior year, when she gently pushed and creatively motivated me into learning the nuances of the English language. It was critical for my development, since I was off to college the next year and really needed to hone my writing skills. Even though I would later have a career as a professional photographer, this is when I first started writing columns for the school newspaper.
Based on what you are reading here today, I like to think she was successful.
I clearly remember the skills Mrs. Bobo used to connect with students. It’s like she instantly knew what made you tick. She recognized my skills as a photographer, yet kept emphasizing how journalism needed to be an important skill set, too. I was also a gregarious gent, who liked to chitchat with the girls. I remember being moved around the classroom several times so she could keep a keen eye on me (and shut me up).
There are hundreds of examples like mine, where Mrs. Bobo contributed to the development of young adults for 4 decades. She gave so much of herself.
But on top of these fond memories, the healthcare issues Mrs. Bobo faces in 2012 also touch a very sensitive and important area for my family.
As I’ve stated in previous columns, my parents went through a very similar issue where the costs of healthcare were like quicksand—draining entire life savings just to stay healthy and maintain some sort of quality of life. This has influenced the way I view the world, and how I vote, and is motivation to help others who lost jobs, which basically means losing healthcare insurance.
Mrs. Bobo is really lucky she has an advocate in Arin Allen. He and the Bobo family have made it their personal goal to make sure Mrs. Bobo will continue to have a quality life, no matter what healthcare hurdles are placed in front of her. It won’t be easy, but in this day, anything is possible. It’s also a classic case how one person can make a huge impact on the lives of others.
With all the people in Claremont and beyond who know and love Mrs. Bobo, I have a feeling the future will be bright for her and her family.
As I left Mrs. Bobo’s house after our interview, she turned and said how she enjoyed my writing in the newspaper. I got chills as if it were 1974 again, where my English teacher just complimented my work.
I will always remember Ruth Bobo.